“Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.”
“You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel”
THE BLOODHOUND GANG
"Am I part of the cure, or am I part of the disease?"
- Please don’t judge me for writing this. I come from a post-modern world where freedom of thought and speech is valid. Whether your a full-blown atheist or a raging fundamentalist Christian, I love you and hope you can gain some kind of clarity from my very personal stories and thoughts.
- If you’re under the age of 14, don't read this. If you really really think you need to, then read it with your big brother or someone that is helpful to your growth as a person.
- This article is not a rant against porn. I’m all about the anti-porn movement, but I hope this post can go deeper. What I’m trying to cover is my reflections on hyper-sexualisation within contemporary society, and my ‘redeemed’ worldview on sex and youth culture.
B M X!!!
It was four in the afternoon. I was eight years old. My brother and his friend Mitch invited me to come for a bike ride. I was super excited. You know, Its always a ‘cool’ thing to be hanging out with guys that are older than you. So, we rode into the bush. Cruising on our epic BMX sensations, Mitch told us that he wanted to show us something that he’d discovered. We ditched our bikes, followed a short leafy trail, and then sighted a spread of magazines that looked like they’d experienced an explosion. He then opened up a poster of a of a very beautiful, a very voluptuous lady. She was fully naked. I can remember to the finite detail what she looked like and exactly the decoration that was involved.
I was like, “wow”. #Boom. I honestly didn’t know how to react. It was so amazing, so rapturous the feeling. But these sensations of ecstasy and elation were partnered with haunting impressions of confusion and darkness. I left this situation with many questions in my mind. The first one being, “what was that?” I’d never heard of the word “porn” before.
The following years of my life were weird. Sex was never talked about by my family or church community. Like the majority of my young generation and todays youth, I learnt about it through films and tv. I watched American Pie at my friends sleepover birthday party. Movies like this really helped with my deepening plunge into the dark abyss of sexual experiment. In my heart there was a sense of right and wrong. I knew that there was such an idea of purity, but still I was so confused. The voices in my life definitely encouraged me enjoy myself and girls, because its a huge element of being a man, apparently.
One afternoon I was walking my dog. Jesse (my dog, RIP) and I were tight. I don't know why, but I was the number one dog walker in my family. I rock!
As a fifteen year old I was cruising down to the lake. Out of nowhere I bumped into a girl from my high school who was a year younger than me. I’d heard stories of her being pretty sexually active. Previously my best friend and I had spoken to her on the bus about a a few sensual topics. But now I was alone, and she was a really attractive and exotic girl. After exchanging “hello’s”, she then told me, “Billy, I really want to go to the bush”. She smiled at me, nearly sending me to the moon and back. She may have been talking about going to our neighbourhood forest to talk about her perspectives on life, but I’m about 98% sure that I know what she was intending. In this very moment it was almost like my lifetime flashed before my eyes, portraying to me two pathways that this decision could lead me down. I kindly responded to her, “nah, i really want to go the lake”. She said, “ok”. We then carried on with our separate paths. I know that this moment was a moment that would define me for the rest of my life.
I heard two years later of this same girl having sex with an entire football team. Man, I feel so sorry for this girl and I’m so thankful that I never added to her degrading season of sexual hell.
If you are a girl or guy who has been partaker of some heavy experiences with your body, I really don’t want you to feel terrible right now. I believe in redemption on every level. This blog space is a safe place for everyone; for every person that has made mistakes (myself included). Today is a new day. Through faith we can all have new beginnings, a restart, a re-birthing.
Some of us have done crazy stuff with our bodies. Most of us have thought crazy stuff in our minds, a lot. At the core of the issue is lust. I believe that lust is terrible for our humanity in so many ways, and this is the core reason of why I’ve taken the time to write.
S E X = YES PLEASE!
I'm all for sex. I believe God created sex. Sex is awesome! (so i hear). We are made as sexual beings. Yes, by God's grace I'm that awkward 27 year old virgin. But one day, let the good times roll.. I just never want to carry a Ned Flanders vibe in this very intimate conversation. So many passionate christians come across as being "anti-sex". I'm all about sex, but I'm not all about confusion.
TECH TECH TECHNO MUSIC
Technology makes things so much more difficult. Any guy can easily access soft or hard porn on instagram or youtube, or google. This all happens in a moment on one's iPhone. As a high school chaplain and motivator, there have been numerous young guys that have told me about nude photos that girls send to them. These guys don't know what to do. Culture tells them to enjoy girls, because its all normal yeah? But, theres something missing. Although these experiences feel so good and there are a moments of excitement and pleasure, the aftermath is also strange, sad and splintering, especially for a guy. I’ve spoken to hundreds and maybe thousands of guys around the world about purity. Any guy who sleeps with a random girl (often not knowing her name) feels so bad afterwards. Any guy who has a break from masturbation for a season and then once again gives in feels so bad. Could it be because God has created a design for our sexual enjoyment? For me this is another reason for God. Sexual experiment outside the sexual guidelines of Scripture have always lead me to feel so much pain, guilt, shame, confusion, emasculation. Breaking these values has also taken me far from being a truly relational human being.
I’ve also met plenty of guys that are slayers, they slay their women all over their city in the bedroom. These guys could be in their fourties, and I guess this is the way they choose to live out their sexual desires. I just can’t see these guys having fulfilling and satisfying sex lives, and I can’t see their temporary significant others feeling loved and protected either. I just don’t believe that lust and its carnal sexual paradigm can help anyone or anything.
Our world is messed. Contemporary culture is so hyper-sexualised. Through TV, film, music and advertising, we learn a system of sexual values. Naomi Wolf in the her book “The Beauty Myth” states her perspectives on current hyper sexualisation of western culture in this way:
“Nothing comparable has ever happened in the history of our species; it dislodges Freud. Today's children and young men and women have sexual identities that spiral around paper and celluloid phantoms: from Playboy to music videos to the blank females torsos in women's magazines, features obscured and eyes extinguished, they are being imprinted with a sexuality that is mass-produced, deliberately dehumanising and inhuman.”
T H E O L O G Y ?
I believe that your theology matters. How do perceive your origins? Are you an animal, or are you a human? Are you an accident, or are you created? Your understanding of your identity changes everything. Period. If you believe that you’re an animal, you’ll act out animal tendencies. Thus, you’re a grown man who has sex drive. So you go out, party, and hope to go home with a pretty lady, because its a part of a nature and you're going along with nature.
For me, I am now appalled. I’m forever sorry for the things that I have seen and done before God, girls, and myself. I’m so grateful that I can now be surrounded by a whole host of masculine dudes that hate what I hate and love what I love; brothers that say no to porn and having sex with girls other than their wives; brothers that weep at the way they treated girls in the past; brothers that desire accountability on every level.
Lets just time warp again. I was 16 an my journey towards purity was still so tainted. I was a church attender in my teenage years. I loved being in the youth band! I loved meeting with my church friends. I was inspired by powerful orators. However, there was a battle raging. I couldn't stop thinking about girls in fractured ways. It honestly disturbed me how much i would lust.
I’d be going for afternoon jogs, and I couldn't rid myself of constant messed up sexual memories, fantasies and thoughts that would replay and replay. I couldn’t even concentrate in school.
I was in need of breakthrough.
At the age of 18. I believe that God spoke to me. I realised that I was special. I realised that I was His son. I realised that I was made for another world. I began to believe that Jesus took take my broken past and give me a new paradigm, and a new set of desires. Never can I be perfect in this life, but in my heart I know that there are things that I never want to revisit.
In the same month I'd heard a story who had overcome lust, porn and masturbation in his life. This inspired me. I could finally see an exit out of the mishmash and clutter which had forever bound me.
I was in a plane coming back from the Philippines. I’d been involved in a missions trip with an amazing group of friends. I had a stop over flight in Malaysia before heading off to Bali for a surf trip. My neighbours on the plane were a host of guys from India and Malaysia who had just been enjoying a vacation in Clark Manila. Clark is known as one the major filipino hotspots for prostitution. It turned out that most of these guys had families back at home. Two of them tried to show me videos of the ‘bars’ they had experienced. They told me that they went to Clark to find “chick”. As much as I wanted to punch the guys in the face for taking advantage of vulnerable young girls, I realised that this journey of demise could happen to anyone. It could happen to you, to me. But something inside me just screamed out ‘I Never Want That To Be Me.’
W E C A N L I V E F O R A L E G A C Y | AND NOT JUST FOR A GOOD TIME
3 reasons why I had to quit porn:
Women are so materialised into becoming something less than human. Porn teaches young men and young women to ‘animalise’ ones self, programming us to see each other as animals more than humans. As my brother would say, women become “pieces of meat”.
Studies suggest that porn makes you more dumb.
I know that for me, porn and lusftul thoughts blur my thought processes. Porn and lusftul thoughts also damage my memory retention and attention to detail.
Would you really want to date a girl who loved watching porn? Would she make an amazing mother for your kids? Girls, would you really find it easy to fall in love with a guy who needed to watch his saucy collection of YouTube videos every night after talking to you on the phone? An addiction to pornography demonstrates a sheer lack of self control.
Check out this earth shattering TEDx talk by my Israeli Professor hero brother Ran Gavrieli. I'm stoked that the video blew up on youtube.
R E A L I T Y
Everywhere we walk, look, scroll, and listen, there are images, people, and sounds that are screaming out to us a confusing way to perceive our bodies and the opposite sex. Its everywhere, and its popular.
I love surfing magazines. The design aspects in magazines such as STAB MAG and WHAT YOUTH are so compelling, and so much of the content is beautiful and true of surf culture. Yet so much of the content still materialises women, often in the name of art. "Chicks" become a tantalising commodity. Some of the biggest names in the neo-lifestyle surf movement are known for getting what they want and when they want it.
"THE GIRL YOU WAKE UP NEXT TO" was one of the STAB MAG article titles. The girl posing below is 16 years old. The truth is, there's probably thousands of dudes twice her age dreaming up some pretty messed up fantasies about her, having no idea that she's still a girl. By the way, she's someones daughter, someones sister, someones future wife. Just saying.. Allegedly this girl went through so much bullying after scoring this front cover shot. It just goes to show the damage that lust and soft porn bring not only to the viewer but also the models.
One of my favourite surfers is Dion Agius. His style in the water carries so much electricity, personal expression and flair. He's a creative genius who would probably be incredibe to meet one day. I was watching one of his promotional videos for Globe Brand, and noticed a profound phrase. He was asked what he would do if he knew that the world was ending. He responded, have sex with lots of women at the same time.
Dion can believe and practise what ever he wants, he has free will. I respect anyone with whatever personal views on culture and sensuality they withhold. But whats disappointing is that there is a whole generation of young surfers around the globe who watched that video and had their worldview affirmed that girls are material, and that sex is simply a pleasurable activity.
I choose to believe that I am a child of God; loved, cherished, honoured, renewed, chosen. God’s voice and presence in my life has entirely changed the way I few sex and women. I'm not perfect, I'm a man and struggles can still arise. But everyday I choose to rekindle my covenant with the Father of Lights. In this there is strength, and in this there is power to overcome.
F I N A L T H O U G H T S
- I want to be part of a counterculture.
- I want receive renewal in my heart daily, so that I can live for a legacy.
- I want to be a role model of purity for the young generations that look up to me.
- I want to be able to talk to my son (one day) in 10 years time about the way God changed me, and that he can be part of a different tribe, a tribe that holds to a different sexual paradigm.
- I want to talk to my wife (one day), look into her eyes and tell her that I’m being completely faithful. I want her to know that in my days of temptation I fought her and resisted, so that I could have a more intimate connection with her.
- I want this generation to know that purity is not a cliche.